The kingdom of God is within you
The Christian Scientist is learning to know the immortal and perfect sense of existence that is consciously and eternally present. Jesus said in Luke 17:21
“The kingdom of God is within you”.
Mary Baker Eddy, the discoverer and founder of the Christian Science movement writes on page 560 of the Christian Science textbook, Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,
“The great miracle, to human sense, is divine Love, and the grand necessity of existence is to gain the true idea of what constitutes the kingdom of heaven in man”.
Bicknell Young, a pioneer in the field of Christian Science, writes in a piece entitled “Oneness” the following:
“If as Mrs. Eddy says in Pulpit and Press 4:21, ours is ‘an individual kingdom’, we look out from God, and a kingdom begins to be a kingdom of God right in the midst of what seems to be what isn’t a kingdom of God”.
We are as close to the kingdom now as we ever will be
It has been said that we are no closer to the kingdom of heaven than we ever will be right at this very moment. Spiritually this makes perfect sense, for God is eternal, without a sense of time, without a beginning or an ending, and man is made in the image and likeness of God. Therefore, in our spiritual sense, we are eternally conscious for God. That eternity is now, not some vague point of time down the road in what human thought calls the future. Our great need is to wake up to the consciousness of our present and eternal spiritual existence, to the presence of the kingdom of heaven.
One concept of existence which I have been striving to personally exemplify is that of demonstrating the spiritual meaning of place, right here in the midst of what we presently call human experience. What I mean by this demonstration is to show by practical experience, and to prove to myself that the quality of thought and consciousness which I entertain determines the quality and condition of the human circumstances I find my self humanly experiencing.
We exist because we are God’s witnesses, conscious for God
Every day in prayer for quite some time now, I have been purposefully contemplating the idea that spiritual existence is universally mental, and that it therefore is not at all physical. In other words, I exist because I am conscious for God, and not because a mass of flesh called my human body is breathing and living organically. Common human belief credits the fleshly body with the creation of the existence of consciousness, whereas Christian Science teaches and indicates by practical experience quite the inverse. Spiritually understood in Christian Science, the fleshly human body is the manifestation, the visible product if you will, of the limited human understanding of what comprises real being - the eternal and perfect consciousness of God, expressed as man’s being. That being the premise, we can conclude that a consciousness which learns to center its understanding of its own identity as the direct representation of God Himself, excludes that which is unlike God. In other words, we are under every single circumstance directly responsible for the quality of our own conscious human experience.
On a simple human level, my dominion over place is illustrated by the fact that I am able to mentally decide where I want to go, and then take the necessary steps to bring myself there go there. On a higher level, the human mind will naturally argue that it is in certain instances the victim of uncontrollable circumstances. Christian Science objects to that limitation and defeats it soundly by practical demonstration. It reveals to man the God-given power which we each possess by learning to understand that our consciousness reflects God’s eternal harmony, even right now, regardless of the testimony of human sense which would argue to the contrary. Human experience comes under our complete conscious control only in proportion as we exercise our identity under the eternal direction of the divine Mind, God.
Knowing our right spiritual place puts us humanly into harmonious situations
Over this past weekend came to me a clear understanding of the manifestation of being in the right place at the right time. In human experience, we find ourselves in whatever situations our thought places us in. We are not subject to random occurrences. This truth has been demonstrated to me repeatedly since I began the practice of consciously declaring and affirming God’s direction in my life each day. I have been affirming that our spiritual sense of place is really in the consciousness of God. In the consciousness of God is where we spiritually are, regardless of physicality or situation.
Psalms 139:7-10 asks
“Whither shall I go from thy spirit? Or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.”
No matter where we are physically, we are present as the consciousness of God, and in proportion as the identity of God comprises the content of our self-identity, in that proportion do we express God’s harmonious control over our situation.
Back to the weekend experience: We had just had our Jeep worked on by our favorite and reliable repair shop, and had just picked it up and driven home with it. Then we had to meet an appointment about an hours drive away from home. I had begun my morning in quiet prayer, affirming my own sense of spiritual identity as the appearance of God’s continual unfolding of harmonious action. Having had no breakfast, on the way out of town, we decided to stop for coffee and donuts. Upon restarting the engine, we found that the battery was almost dead. Then glancing down at the meter on the dashboard, I realized that the alternator had failed. The battery was running at only about 10 Volts. So, we immediately drove it back to the shop for diagnosis. There it was determined exactly what had caused the charging failure. While the parts had to be ordered and we had to wait the weekend until they would be available, we were able to put a full charge back on the battery at the shop, enough to drive back home to safety.
This might seem like an insignificant story of a typical automotive problem. But from a human perspective, the harmony of how it unfolded is remarkable. Our Jeep has over 250,000 miles on the clock. Not surprisingly, as an old vehicle, it has had a significant number of failures in recent months. But I have noticed the harmonious unfoldment of God-directed action with every failure. We live in a very rural area. While we are surrounded by miles of empty rural highways, never have we been left stranded in any remote place. Every single failure has occurred either in my own driveway, or in our nearest town, close to readily available help. What is the significance of what many would call repeated lucky coincidence?
Had we not stopped at the store, we would have run out of battery power completely on a remote section of US 60. But the charging problem with the vehicle became mentally seen in the right physical place, and spiritually, that place is in the conscious presence of God’s infinite resources. If I were to have exercised a purely human frame without regard for my mental station, would we have found ourselves stranded? I cannot answer that, but I can answer that I heard a mental direction which told me to stop at the store, and I followed it.
I am grateful for the evidence I have gained through the practice of Christian Science that the exercise of my present spiritual identity keeps me mentally in the only real place. That singular real place is the consciousness of the divine Mind, and that place in consciousness is the spiritual translation of physical place back into its spiritual roots. Knowing our place in spiritual consciousness becomes manifest in human experience as peaceful, safe, harmonious circumstances and experiences.